Electrifying post-metal for uncertain times – reviewing Brazilian outfit Lōtico’s debut album “Oran”

Author Daniel Agapito - 29.1.2024

Initially formed in São Paulo, Brazil as an industrial sludge duo, lōtico has proven to be one of the most promising new bands in the Brazilian underground with the release of their debut album “Oran” in September last year. Named after the aquatic system present in rivers and streams, characterized by the constant flow of water, the five-piece have definitely managed to carve out a place in the post-hardcore and post-metal scenes across the Atlantic.

A great deal of attention was drawn to the band off the release of their first single, “Indulgência”, which was later praised by fans and critics alike. Creating a mix of clean and rough vocals, a slow sound , filled to the brim with interesting sonic textures (but never leaving their heaviness behind), what would later become the album’s second track showed listeners what they were in for right off the bat. Bombarding listeners with the impactful vocals of Leonardo Simões and Bruno Araújo, the track highlights perfectly both the band’s ability to create insanely heavy sections, characterized by screams and powerful instrumentals but also their ability to immerse the listener into an almost shoegaze-y soundscape and share their messages of frustration and change through spoken-word passages.

The riffs, although mostly simple, fit perfectly into each song and are audibly well executed. Their inherently simplistic nature mixed with the typical-post metal tone of the guitars create an impressive wall of sound; a perfect background for the strong lyrics and vocals. Bruno Araújo’s bass work creates a strong base for the guitar work and generally holds the songs together. The synths, a signature element of more atmospheric metal groups, does exactly this, create a strong atmosphere, making the songs stand out from many other bands.

In terms of mixing and mastering, the band has managed to encapsulate the sheer aggression and impact which comes with a rawer production but also the incredible beauty from well-mixed synthesizers. Tracks such as “Cerimônia” show off the borderline ethereal qualities of Guilherme Xavier’s synth work and also manage to accentuate all the anger behind the three guitarist’s work (Guilherme Xavier, Leonardo Simões and Pedro Ferreira). This mix of instruments and insane vocal lines is wrapped up by Juliana Lellis’s incredible drumming, which orbits between complex, almost prog-like sections and simple, minimalistic lines.

In conclusion, lōtico’s “Oran” is a great album, which creates an insanely strong foundation and a great deal of anticipation towards the band’s future. The mix of dead-simple but still aggressive riffs with powerful percussion and atmospheric synths makes for a straight-to-the-point and direct expression of frustration and uncertainty, something that has been awfully present not only in Brazil, given its current situation but globally. Give it a listen.